Long Island is a hotbed for comedy. Whether its comedy clubs Governor’s or Brokerage, or being home to names such as Rosie O’Donnell, Jim Breuer and Kevin James, to name but a few, the island’s close proximity to the city has always kept the comedy scene fresh and vibrant. Self-described as the world’s funniest accountant, Steven Gianturco, aka Stevie G.B. is one of Long Island’s beacons of comedy. He recently sat down to answer 10 quick questions. Head to the jump for his answers.
RMP: When did the proverbial light bulb go off, that you decided to pursue this?
Steve: I have always had a keen sense of humor but didn’t actually hit the stage until I was dared by co-workers. It was something I always thought about doing, but never felt it was possible.
RMP: Do you remember your first gig? When was it? Where was it? How did it go?
Steve: everyone remembers their first time. Mine was 1991 at The Juke Box Cafe in Hauppauge. It was talent night. I had the entire office there for support and it went much better than expected. I won third place in the talent contest. From there I was hooked.
RMP: What have you learned since that first gig?
Steve: It’s all about getting comfortable enough that you no longer care how the audience reacts. The worst thing you can do on stage is think. It has to look natural and fun. If I have fun, the audience knows it and has fun too. It takes years to get to that point.
RMP: What is it about comedy that you so much enjoy?
Steve: My favorite part is the writing of material and working on stage until it works. That is the most gratifying part because it’s hard work that pays off.
RMP: Describe the comedy community on Long Island? Strong? Weak? Supportive? Apathetic? Can it be improved?
Steve: The Long Island scene is always changing. There are so many different types of venues for comedy. It’s not just limited to the comedy clubs. There are comedy shows at restaurants, theaters, fire houses, over 55 communities, etcetera. I would love to see it more supportive and less political, but that seems to be the nature of show business. In today’s economy, people want good entertainment value. People don’t want to feel ripped off when they go to a show.
RMP: What have Paul Anthony’s efforts to get comedy out there on Long Island mean to you as an aspiring comedian?
Steve: Paul is one of the nicest guys in the business. He is supportive of us comics and does an amazing job of providing real entertainment value to the people. I am proud to have been a part of his festival since it’s inception in 2004 and watching it’s astounding growth has been a thrill for me. More importantly, I hope this answer gets me more gigs from him.
RMP: Have you always been a class clown? Has comedy always been a vital cog in your life?
Steve: When I was in school, my education was much less important than being the funniest guy in the room. I found out very early on, being the skinny nerd, that making the bullies laugh was the best way to get through school. I grew up on a steady diet of The Marx Bros., Abbott & Costello, and all the greats. I didn’t watch comedy, I studied it.
RMP: Where do you get your material from? Do things consistently inspire you? Is there ever a dearth of material?
Steve: I go through creative surges where I can just write for days, so I take advantage of those. Other times a joke idea just presents itself. It’s all a part of the way I look at things and think in general. Sometimes I fear that I have written my last great joke, then suddenly something hits me. I have a tendency to twist everyday obvious things and turn them into jokes.
RMP: What do you hope people take from one of your gigs?
Steve: A feeling that I made people forget their difficult lives for a short while.
RMP: What makes Stevie G.B. so different from his comedian contemporaries?
Steve: Being 53 years old, married and living in suburbia affords me a different view than a younger single comic. I think there are so many Long Islanders that relate to what I am saying because, like me, they live it everyday. It’s the truth and the truth is funny.